iOS app Android app

Robert Kuttner

Reforming the Federal Sweatshop

Robert Kuttner | Posted 06.22.2014 | Politics
Robert Kuttner

The White House is holding a summit Monday, June 22 on working families. The summit is intended to call attention to the fact that President Obama wants to raise wages and job opportunities for working Americans, especially for working women.

The Road to Euro-Fascism

Robert Kuttner | Posted 05.18.2014 | Politics
Robert Kuttner

The European economic crisis with its high unemployment only stimulates more migration, which puts pressure on local labor markets and pushes the local working class further into the arms of the nationalist far-right.

Second-Guessing Obama's Foreign Policy

Robert Kuttner | Posted 07.04.2014 | Politics
Robert Kuttner

The pile-on by Republicans and the media on his foreign policy challenges is excessive. I mean, what would you have him do that is more sensible than what he's doing? Let's take the big issues one at a time. Russia: There is simply no good course of action against Vladimir Putin's grab of Eastern Ukraine. This is a majority-Russian region, and Putin has been both ruthless and deft at using thuggish locals as cats' paws for an eventual takeover. Obama is pursuing economic sanctions and threatening more sanctions, despite being undercut by our European allies. The U.S. is pursuing Containment II to try to isolate Russia that is not all that dependent on global trade, and the original Containment took more than four decades. Maybe there will yet be some kind of de facto compromise, in which Eastern Ukraine becomes a Russian protectorate and Western Ukraine is able to become part of Europe.

Share Economy or Bare Economy?

Robert Kuttner | Posted 06.27.2014 | Politics
Robert Kuttner

It's clear that digital technology and smartphone apps have enabled new ways for vendors and buyers to do end runs around traditional notions of what is commerce and what is informal barter. Many people argue that these innovations both expand personal liberties and allow for more efficient use of resources. If two consenting adults want to put an economic value on an empty car or a vacant room, isn't that a net gain to both? Isn't this precisely what free markets do -- and why should government get involved at all? There are two problems, say critics. First, the whole history of capitalism is one of balancing the entrepreneurial impulse against hazards to consumers. The fact that some consumers may be innocent of the hazards is not a good reason to pretend they are not there.

Can Democrats Go Long?

Robert Kuttner | Posted 06.20.2014 | Politics
Robert Kuttner

For more than 30 years, the right has been throwing long passes. The Democrats, with some fine individual exceptions in the Senate and House, have been playing an incremental game, eking out gains of a few yards at a time and often being thrown for big losses. Guess which side has been winning. Four decades ago, supply side economics was a joke. The idea that cutting taxes on the very rich was the key to prosperity had been laughed out of the debate as 'trickle down economics.' Now low taxes on the rich -- even the dead rich -- are national policy. Forty years ago, Richard Nixon was fighting mostly on territory defined by Democrats. He had a universal health proposal somewhat to the left of the Affordable Care Act. Nixon was even for a guaranteed annual income, and that was before Watergate.

How to Save Obamacare -- and the Senate

Robert Kuttner | Posted 05.30.2014 | Politics
Robert Kuttner

As readers of these posts will recall, I'm not the biggest fan of the Affordable Care Act. My view is that the legislative compromises needed to get the ACA through Congress made it an unwieldy mess; that the bungled roll-out was a logical outcome of its Rube Goldberg structure. The claims of the president's loyal supporters that all is being fixed and that the ACA will still be a net political winner by November sound like so much whistling past the graveyard. Nonetheless, the damage done by the ACA rubs off, not only on President Obama, but on the Democrats' chances of holding the Senate and on American progressivism as a whole. If Republicans take both Houses of Congress, Obama in his final two years will be the lamest of lame ducks.

The Poverty of Policy on Poverty

David Coates | Posted 05.13.2014 | Politics
David Coates

Since there is currently a rather large amount of poverty around that ideally would be rapidly alleviated, you could legitimately expect that the proposals that each side brought to the table might significantly erode the poverty under review. Sadly, however, neither set of proposals do.

Wall Street's Tea Party

Robert Kuttner | Posted 05.02.2014 | Politics
Robert Kuttner

Governor Jan Brewer's veto of a bill that would have allowed discrimination against gays on religious grounds is only the latest example of the tension between the corporate and fundamentalist right. She acted because business elites feared that the measure would be bad for the state's economy.The alliance between the fundamentalist far right and the business elite was always a bizarre marriage of convenience. The Wall Street gang tends to be relatively liberal on social and lifestyle issues, the very issues where the conservative base detests godless liberals. Many Tea Party Republicans, meanwhile, embody a kind of rightwing economic populism that doesn't have much use for investment bankers.

Summer Reading About What Ails America and How to Fix It

Peter Dreier | Posted 08.24.2013 | Politics
Peter Dreier

If you're interested in figuring out the roots of our current economic, social and political crisis, what it will take to fix it, and how you can be part of the solution, here's a list of 15 recent books you might want to take with you.

Kuttner's Debtors' Prison: A Much-Needed Brief Against Austerity

Richard (RJ) Eskow | Posted 07.18.2013 | Politics
Richard (RJ) Eskow

Debtors' Prison should be required reading for anyone who influences economic policy in this country. Open-minded readers should come away convinced that we need to reject the economics of despair for an economics of hope.

350 Economists Warn Sequester Cuts Could Kill Recovery

Roger Hickey | Posted 04.28.2013 | Politics
Roger Hickey

How many economists does it take -- to make the Congress and the president and the media pay attention? Paul Krugman has been warning of the dangers of austerity for a long time. But the media treats him as an outlier.

Hot Air, Stuffed Turkeys, and the CEOs' Hansel-and-Gretel Feast

Richard (RJ) Eskow | Posted 11.21.2012 | Politics
Richard (RJ) Eskow

The Macy's Corporation may soon be remembered more for the political machinations of its CEO than for the wholesome fun of its parades. This year Macy's is putting its corporate resources behind another over-hyped and over-reported spectacle.

A Grand Throwdown?

Jim Kessler | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Jim Kessler

Do we do it under a president who cares deeply about the safety net, or kick the can to some future president who may be less committed to the elderly and vulnerable? The fiscal cliff threatens the recovery, but it also presents Democrats an opportunity.

Michael Calderone

Influential Liberal Magazine May Close

HuffingtonPost.com | Michael Calderone | Posted 05.01.2012 | Media

The American Prospect, an influential liberal politics and policy magazine, could shut its doors at the end of May unless the nonprofit publication ra...

Republican Truth and Real Truth: GSEs and the Housing Bubble

David Coates | Posted 03.30.2012 | Politics
David Coates

The main rewrite now underway in their twice-weekly televised clashes is a rewrite on housing finance.

The Krugman/Stiglitz Army Is on the March (and It's Too Late for Michael Bloomberg to Stop It)

Miles Mogulescu | Posted 12.14.2011 | Politics
Miles Mogulescu

Whether or not the the #Occupy Wall Street protesters explicitly adopt policy proposals or only generate political energy for the spirit of them, the Krugman/Stiglitz Army is at last on the march.

"JOBS FIRST" -- Starting 'Labor' Day, Obama Can Turn Tables on GOP

Mark Green | Posted 10.05.2011 | Politics
Mark Green

On Labor Day, President Obama should announce a "Jobs First" program. Namely, spend $300 billion more starting now to spur consumer demand in exchange for $300 billion in reduced spending in 2014. Jobs first. Cuts later.

A President's Choice: Resist Wall Street's 'Shock Doctrine' or Keep Listening to the Usual Suspects

Richard (RJ) Eskow | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Richard (RJ) Eskow

To win elections Democrats need to get the economy moving, and you can't do that in a "centrist" way. They should compromise when they must, but this time they need to make it clear that they are compromising.

Not Just Jobs -- Good Jobs

Robert Kuttner | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Robert Kuttner

The economy not only has a scarcity of jobs, but a shortage of good jobs. And while Republicans would resist legislating a serious public jobs program, the administration should fight for one anyway.

This Week: Obama's Deficit Commission or Pete Peterson's?

Roger Hickey | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Roger Hickey

Pete Peterson's summit is designed to stampede President Obama's new deficit commission (which meets the day before, for the first time) into adopting their version of fiscal austerity.

Simpson's Social Security Video Rant: Why It's Important

Richard (RJ) Eskow | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Richard (RJ) Eskow

It's frightening to consider the implications of Simpson's reaction - the fierceness, the ideological drive, and the closed-mindedness. Remember, his Commission has been entrusted with determining your financial future.

Weekly Audit: Financial Reform Makes Headway, Jobs And Social Security In Jeopardy

The Media Consortium | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
The Media Consortium

by Zach Carter, Media Consortium blogger Two critical Wall Street reforms, once declared dead by U.S. megabanks, are suddenly close to Congressional ...

IMF Protesters Try to Disrupt Cambridge University Address by Strauss-Kahn

Steve Clemons | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Steve Clemons

IMF Executive Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn is "cool under fire", as Central European University President John Shattuck said when introducing him, and didn't break his stride during his presentation at Kings College, University of Cambridge.

Baby Boomers, Fiscal Peril, and the Agenda of Pete Peterson's Summit

Brent Green | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Brent Green

Warren Buffet has wisely observed that the proposed fiscal crisis due to entitlement spending does not take into full consideration expansion of the economy over the coming years.

Law and Order: AIG

Richard (RJ) Eskow | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Richard (RJ) Eskow

The DoJ announced last week that there would be no indictments in the collapse of AIG. Nobody's guilty? That's getting it backward. It's like Murder On the Orient Express: They all did it. But we're the only ones who are going to pay for it.